Identifying Strategies Programs Adopt to Meet Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards in Afterschool Programs

Robert G. Weaver, Justin B. Moore, Brie Turner-McGrievy, Ruth Saunders, Aaron Beighle, M. Mahmud Khan, Jessica Chandler, Keith Brazendale, Allison Randell, Collin Webster, Michael W. Beets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. The YMCA of USA has adopted Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards for its afterschool programs (ASPs). Little is known about strategies YMCA ASPs are implementing to achieve Standards and these strategies’ effectiveness. Aims. (1) Identify strategies implemented in YMCA ASPs and (2) evaluate the relationship between strategy implementation and meeting Standards. Method. HEPA was measured via accelerometer (moderate-to-vigorous-physical-activity [MVPA]) and direct observation (snacks served) in 20 ASPs. Strategies were identified and mapped onto a capacity building framework (Strategies To Enhance Practice [STEPs]). Mixed-effects regression estimated increases in HEPA outcomes as implementation increased. Model-implied estimates were calculated for high (i.e., highest implementation score achieved), moderate (median implementation score across programs), and low (lowest implementation score achieved) implementation for both HEPA separately. Results. Programs implemented a variety of strategies identified in STEPs. For every 1-point increase in implementation score 1.45% (95% confidence interval = 0.33% to 2.55%, p ≤.001) more girls accumulated 30 min/day of MVPA and fruits and/or vegetables were served on 0.11 more days (95% confidence interval = 0.11-0.45, p ≤.01). Relationships between implementation and other HEPA outcomes did not reach statistical significance. Still regression estimates indicated that desserts are served on 1.94 fewer days (i.e., 0.40 vs. 2.34) in the highest implementing program than the lowest implementing program and water is served 0.73 more days (i.e., 2.37 vs. 1.64). Conclusions. Adopting HEPA Standards at the national level does not lead to changes in routine practice in all programs. Practical strategies that programs could adopt to more fully comply with the HEPA Standards are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-547
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Research reported in this article was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number RO1HD079422.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © 2016 Society for Public Health Education.

Keywords

  • child health
  • health policy
  • out of school time
  • physical activity/exercise
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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